Sunday, January 31, 2010

CitizeNYC Podcast #8

We're two beers in again this week with our special guest Dorian Davis. We've got the latest Project Runway gossip, our view on holding the KSM trials in New York City, Christine Quinn's chances for becoming the next mayor, plus it's Greg's birthday!

Download the MP3, or subscribe on iTunes, and be sure to check out last week's episode.

Thanks to Revolution of the Beer 1000 for being our awesome sponsor this week - they'll brew custom beers for any occasion. If you'd like to sponsor Two Beers In, hit us up.

Via CitizeNYC.

Update: The Obama Admin gave in to NY politicos and won't hold KSM's trial in the city. It's a disappointment.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Obama Speaks To House Republicans

President Barack Obama took questions from House Republicans at a conference in Baltimore today, in an event that looked like something out of British Parliament. One by one, the president was able to address and refute the Republican talking points. It’s amazing to see these (mostly) little men getting schooled by our professor-president in such a calm and scholarly way.

Politically, it was a nice win for Obama, and the White House should focus on doing similar things. We’ve actually got a pragmatic president who is detail-oriented and understands policy. It’s wise to use that. Make it a monthly thing. At some point, Republicans are not going to be interested in engaging with Obama, once they learn that their attempts at political spin are thwarted.

It’s been fun watching MSNBC and CNN (plus most liberal/moderate bloggers) fawning over the president’s performance. That kind of thing can’t hurt, and I can’t wait to see more of it.

Now lets see if these words can translate to a real jobs bill and finally passing healthcare reform.

Originally posted on The Hill.

Friday, January 29, 2010

On Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s Trial

I chimed in on today's Big Question on The Hill.

Where should the Obama administration move Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s trial if it is not held in New York?

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed should face trial in New York City, where he murdered over 3,000 people. To say it's too "expensive" or "inconvenient" for the City to be a part of him getting justice is flabbergasting. Who do people think Mohammed is, Magneto from X-Men? Does anyone think he's really going to escape? Is it a remotely serious notion that his buddies will attempt to bust him out of prison? Try the coward downtown, stop pretending he's more powerful than he actually is, and bring him to justice in New York City.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CitizeNYC Podcast #7

We're two beers in again this week and talking about waiting until 2011 to push for marriage equality, Mayor Bloomberg's lackluster State of the City address, and Pamela's disaster of a jean dress on Project Runway. (Plus loads more!)

Listen on iTunes, and be sure to check out last week's episode.

Next week we'll have Dorian Davis as our special guest! Watch out, it's gonna get crazy...

Via CitizeNYC.

Friday, January 22, 2010

On Democrats & Health Care Reform

I chimed in today for The Hill's Big Question.

Will Dems push ahead with healthcare reform?

I don't know if they will push forward with reform or not, but they certainly should. It's time for House Democrats to pass the Senate bill. Maybe they can add more reforms through budget reconciliation after, or maybe they can't. Either way, it's clear that the Senate bill is far better than the status quo. Failure to pass health care reform brings more than just electoral problems. We're talking about 30 million Americans who will finally gain access to health care because of this bill. Progressives need to hold their noses and vote for it. We don't have to lose this one.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tonight: Stonewall Dem Club's Women's Awards.

Tonight I'm a special guest at the Stonewall Democrats fourth annual Women's Awards. Tickets start at just $15, see the details below. Should be a fun night for a great organization and some impressive women.

New York, NY. January 18, 2010. The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City will honor five community leaders and organizations at the club's fourth annual Women's Awards on Thursday, January 21, 2009 to be held at the Stonewall Inn.

"This year's honorees are not only leaders in the community but role models for many, advancing women and women’s issue in the LGBTQ communities," said Yetta Kurland, founder and chairperson of the Woman's Awards Committee. "Stonewall holds this event to recognize those who have made a difference - both big and small – for women and to ensure that women’s voices are heard in the LGBTQ movement as well as the greater New York community."

The event will be held from 6 to 9 PM at the historic Stonewall Inn at Christopher Street and Seventh Avenue. It will be attended by several elected officials with a host committee that brags the likes of Governor David Paterson, NYC Public Advocate Bill deBlasio and NYC Comptroller John Liu. In addition, Broadway Speaks OUT, an organization that mobilizes people from Broadway and the entertainment world to fight for LGBTQ equality has arranged a host of celebrity appearances including Meredith Patterson from Boston Legal, as well as Broadway stars Brian Charles Rooney, Nick Adams, Kate Pazakis, Ryan J. Davis, and Marti Gould Cummings.

This year's honorees are:

CATHY MARINO-THOMAS is the communications director and board president for Marriage Equality New York, a grass roots, all-volunteer organization with more than 3,000 members and supporters. MENY is oldest marriage equality advocacy organization and will be launching their Political Action Committee with Ms. Marino-Thomas’ leadership this year.

JOANNE SMITH is the executive director of Girls for Gender Equity, an organization she founded in 2000. Girls for Gender Equity serves over 600 NYC girls and boys offering them a safe place to achieve academic excellence, explore career education, and maintain healthy lifestyles.

JANET WEINBERG is the Chief Operating Officer at Gay Men's Health Crisis and previously served as its Senior Managing Director. She previously served as Development Director at the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan.

THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR LESBIAN RIGHTS is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of LGBT persons and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy and public education.

*SNAPSHOT* is a weekly mixed queer party in NYC featuring art, music, film, photography and exposure.

The event is co-sponsored by GO! Magazine, the Stonewall Inn and Broadway Speaks OUT.

Tickets are available at $15 to $75 sliding scale. You can RSVP to the event at or on Facebook.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Veritas Table Reading

Yesterday, we had the first table reading of Stan Richardson's new drama Veritas. The play deals with the 1920 Harvard Secret Court, an anti-gay witch hunt that ruined the lives of a group of students. We hope to stage a full production later this year, watch the blog for details.

Our reading cast included; Chad Lindsey, Seamus Mulcahy, Kevin Michael Murphy, Steven Kane, Michael Hirstreet, Vince Rimoldi, Brian DeCaluwe, Mitch Dean, Micah Shepard, Saum Eskandani, & Adam J. Thomspon.

Special thanks to midtown's The Ritz for letting us use their upstairs space.

CitizeNYC Podcast #6

We're two mojitos in this week and talking about Project Runway's triumphant return to our beloved city, Harold Ford's refusal to leave, Andrew Cuomo's blockbuster fundraising, and much more.

Listen on iTunes, and be sure to check out last week's episode.

(PS - We'll be doing the Project Runway Rundown every week, which is gonna be awesome!)

Via CitizeNYC.

Monday, January 11, 2010

CitizeNYC Podcast #5

What do Abraham Lincoln and Harold Ford have in common? Easy. They're both topics of this week's episode of Two Beers In, the weekly podcast I co-host all about New York City. That and much more...

From CitizeNYC.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cockroach Hunters

I often say that there is always something to discover in New York City. I'm usually referring to pleasant things, but two Manhattan high school students discovered a new breed of cockroach during a DNA barcoding project at Trinity School.
"[Closely-related] species don't differ [by] more than one percent, [while] this cockroach is four percent different," agreed Professor Mark Stoeckle. "This suggests it is a new species of cockroach."
Further investigation is essential before it can be determined whether the students' discovery is a new species or a subspecies. If their finding is confirmed, it is traditional that the discoverers -- Ms. Tan and Mr. Cost in this case -- will be granted naming rights for the new species.
I hope this pans out for the students, it would be an impressive discovery. Now if I can only get them to test some of the crazy huge rats I see roaming my Bushwick streets.

Originally posted on CitizeNYC.

CitizeNYC Podcast #4

In this week's episode of Two Beers In, Greg & I cover airport security, the Four Amigos, Mayor Bloomberg's third term, and how to smoke pot legally in the city. You can listen here, or subscribe free on iTunes.

Via CitizeNYC.

On Safety In America

I chimed in on The Hill's Big Question today.

Has the Obama Administration made us safer? Explain.

To answer this question, you'd have to buy into the idea that the United States wasn't safe to begin with. Nate Silver looked at the airline stats over the last decade and found only a 1 in 10.5 million chance of dying in an act of air terror. On the other hand, it's a 1 in 500,000 chance of being struck by lightening. I'd say both events are rare, but hijackings fall in the extremely, rare category. Most pundits and people approach these issues with a startling lack of perspective.

I'd say America is safer when more of its citizens have health care, access to quality education and a decent standard of living. Obama is working towards those goals.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Best Theatre of 2009

Originally posted on The Huffington Post:

In 2000, my first year living in New York City, I attended over two hundred different theater productions. This year, I clocked in barely a hundred. Below are my top five in no particular order.

  • In The Next Room or the vibrator play: A beautiful production (directed by Les Walters) that examines the marriage of a doctor who invented an early electric vibrator. Sarah Ruel offers a smart and funny look at how technology can affect our personal lives on many levels. Currently playing at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre, closes Jan. 10th.

  • Surrender: The International WOW Company produced this fully immersive military experience. The cast led the audience through basic training (complete with push ups) and into a simulated war environment. Afterwards, we're integrated back into society. While occasionally a tad heavy-handed, it was a profound experience. Performed Jan. 7th to Jan. 25th. Read my interview with director Josh Fox.

  • The Temperamentals: A fascinating Mad Men-esq look at Harry Hay, an often forgotten character in gay history, and the early Los Angeles gay rights movement. Reopening at New World Stages on Feb. 10th, prior limited run June, 10th '09 through Aug. 23rd 2009.

  • Ruined: A powerful tale of women struggling to live in the Congo won the Pulitzer Price and deserved a Broadway transfer. Performed Feb. 10th to Sept 6th at Manhattan Theatre Club.

  • My Wonderful Day: Alan Ayckbourn's new play is a surprisingly contemporary tale from a 70 year-old playwright/director. Ayesha Antoine's winning performance as an 8 year-old observing adult chaos was a delight. Played Nov. 11th - Dec. 13th at 59E59 Theaters.

    Looking forward to what New York City theatre has to offer in the year & decade ahead.